According to new Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen, it will take between 10 and 15 years to elevate GM's top brand, which was once hailed as "The Standard Of The World," back to prominence in the minds of American customers. And to hear the executive talk of it, the brand is going to have to be willing to see sales falter in the near-term before they recover:

"Either you have to bring your volume aspirations into alignment with reality and accept that you will sell fewer cars... Or you have to drop the price and continue to transact at the prices where you were historically... I think the logical conclusion is that it's better to build off a very solid base in terms of [product] credibility, charge a fair price for the car and realize you have to wait until the volume comes."

In other words, sales will fall before they rise, and the brand has to be okay with that. Notice, too, that de Nysschen speaks of "a fair price" for Cadillac cars and utility vehicles. In this case, "fair" means more than many of the brand's traditional buyers are accustomed to, and roughly in line with the brands and machines Cadillac believes it is competing against. For instance, the newly enlarged 2014 CTS carries a suggested retail price that is over $6,000 higher than it was in 2013, and some trim levels boast an even higher price premium over the models they replace.

Time will tell if General Motors continues to support de Nysschen in his quest to bring Caddy up in pricing and perception to its German rivals, but at least he's being clear about the time frame and acknowledging that they are "leaving their traditional customer base" behind in the process. As the recent former head of Infiniti and a career-man at Audi before that, de Nysschen should know a thing or two about how hard it is to retrench and resurrect a damaged luxury nameplate.

Here's hoping Cadillac's upcoming range-topper is found worthy of direct comparison with the likes of the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8, models with which it will likely be priced directly against.

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